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Good Choice!

  • Title:Good Choice! Supporting Independent Reading and Response, K-6
  • Author:Tony Stead
  • Publication Date:December 2008
  • Grade Level:K-6
  • ISBN:9781571107329
  • Publisher:Stenhouse

For those of us who treasure memories of a childhood spent curled up with favorite books, it may be shocking to realize that reading is a chore for many of our students. In recent years, the increased class time spent on reading instruction geared toward measurable performance -- from tests to book reports -- means fewer children have the opportunity to discover reading for pleasure, or to research topics that interest them. If we want children to become truly engaged readers, we must set aside time every day for them to independently select, read, and respond. Of course, just providing time and a variety of reading materials isn't adequate to ensure that students achieve the independence they need to become lifelong readers. Students need guidance on selecting materials at an appropriate level, they need practice in the habits of readers, and they need the social reinforcement of sharing ideas about their reading with peers.

In Good Choice!, noted author and literacy specialist Tony Stead outlines the components that foster successful independent reading in grades K-6. He examines practices that:

  • establish independent reading and borrowing routines;
  • provide adequate resources for independent reading;
  • support children in selecting a wide range of appropriate texts;
  • offer opportunities for children to respond to their reading.

With examples appropriate to emergent readers in grades K-2, as well as more seasoned readers in grades 3-6, Tony provides a comprehensive plan for integrating independent reading throughout the day. He offers systems for organizing the class library and checking books in and out, lessons on book selection and responding to text, advice on supporting children and parents in home reading, guidance on conferring with students, and an array of helpful appendix materials including graphic organizers, questionnaires, assessment and monitoring rubrics.

Research shows that children who have the opportunity to read independently not only become more literate adults, they also, in fact, perform better on state tests and other reading assessments. Good Choice! provides everything you need to create classrooms where students can fulfill their reading potential now and for the future.

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Author Bio

Tony Stead became a teacher because he wanted to make a difference in children's lives. And he is certainly doing that through his publications, teaching, and work with teachers all over the world. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Tony earned his master of education degree from the University of Melbourne and worked for fourteen years as a K-6 teacher in five different school settings in Melbourne. He visits the United States and Canada at least four times a year to consult in literacy education with school districts. When in Australia, he does some consulting, but spends most of his time with children and writing new publications and teacher resource materials. He believes that professional development should be "hands-on, relevant, reflective, engaging, empowering." He encourages teachers to "take off the teacher hat and replace it with that of the learner," and to celebrate success, no matter how small. Tony is the author of Reality Checks, Is That a Fact? and the videos Bridges to Independence and Time for Nonfiction. Before sitting down to write, he likes to spend at least one year researching. "I like to write in large blocks of time so that I can totally fall into the writing and let it become part of my everyday thinking. I like to talk extensively with teachers and children prior to writing."

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